Land Run Wagon Envy

The pioneering spirit of Oklahoma is displayed in third graders each year when they culminate their studying of the state’s history with their own Land Run reenactment. The kids are divided up into “families” to transform a kid’s wagon in to a Chuck Wagon that will tote all the necessities to setting up a society on the land they will stake claim to.

Today was Land Run Day for my youngest. At our school, like most I assume, the kids dress up in period clothes and head outside with their family groups where they wait lined up for the signal before dashing with their wagon and all its belongings to the land they pick out for settlement.

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The whole thing is great fun for the kids and a history lesson memory that sticks with them. In fact, I have realized since moving to Oklahoma that most of my adult friends who grew up here still recall their own Land Run Day experiences. What I have also found from both my sons’ Land Runs is something more than just a history lesson though, but a lesson we all need to see and remember, whether we are a 3rd grader or grown. So track with me…

Here is a picture of some of the wagons with their “land improvements”.

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Pretty cool, huh?

Now here is ours…

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Not bad, but far from being the biggest or the best. Which shouldn’t matter, especially to us parents. But just like with anything else we want the biggest and the best!

Why is this? Probe your own heart.  

Ask yourself why it is you might feel that same way, maybe not about a wagon, but what about the vacation your friend is going on this summer? Or, the new pool and cabana your neighbor just put in?  Or, the fancy cars, designer shoes and great restaurants it seems like everyone around you has or goes to?

Now it’s not so hard to see. Envy and pride are always at work, eating a way at our hearts.

If we are the one with the smaller wagon or less whatever it is, then we want more. We are discontent. The reason being is because we think we deserve better because we are better.

If we have the bigger, better wagon, or the nice vacation, pool, house, clothes, car, etc, we tend to think we are better because we have those things!

We are just as full of pride in what we don’t have, as we are in what we do have.  When we feel insecure in having less, we will belittle and tear others down in order to elevate ourselves. And if we have more, we will snub our noses at those without in order to assert our self-worth and dominance.

Both are wrong. Both is sin. Both I want to pluck out in my own heart and help my children see in theirs. Neither is possible without seeing our need for a Savior and finding our identity securely bound in Him.

To me this is a greater lesson to point out to my kids then what the Land Run is even about. In the end all the wagons, big and small, found a great piece of land to call “home”. Everyone picnicked on their “property” and was having lots of fun… unless of course envy or pride was too all-consuming to enjoy the day.

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“…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11b-13

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